Could it be Fibromyalgia? 
Is That What’s Really Wrong With Me?


   By Dr. Donald Liebell



   The answer to this question of fibromyalgia may depend entirely on what type of doctor is evaluating you.  The wide variety of symptoms may be considered to be part of many different diagnoses, given by doctors of different medical specialties, depending on what part of the body for which they specialize.  

   Symptoms of Fibromyalgia

   There is NO single specific symptom that characterizes this syndrome.  There is NO definitive medical test either.  It may be referred to as a diagnosis by exclusion.  In other words, you have various symptoms, but other medical conditions have been "ruled out" leaving you with fibromyalgia syndrome as your only choice left. 

   The symptoms associated with fibromyalgia overlap with those of many other conditions.  The typical patient who receives this diagnosis has experienced for 3 months or more:

  • Widespread pain throughout the body
  • Muscle aches and various tender points
  • Sleeping difficulties
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Flu-like symptoms.  
  • Joint pains - Neck Pain
  • Numbness or tingling sensations in the hands and/or feet
  • Digestion and elimination difficulties
  • Memory and concentration problems commonly labeled “Fibro fog”
  • Headaches (including Migraines)
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Pelvic pain, interstitial cystisis
  • Overall inability to carry out basic activities of daily living are commonly seen.


   What this means is that ANYBODY can be arbitrarily given the diagnosis of fibromyalgia, without any concrete evidence of any pathology or abnormality.  The above symptoms, which are presently being diagnosed as fibromyalgia syndrome, are nothing new—although the name itself was created fairly recently.  The popular "fibromyalgia tender points" are considered part of the diagnostic criteria.

   Prior to the popularity of fibromyalgia as a diagnosis, many people were told they had Chronic Fatigue Syndrome —thought to be caused at least in part, by the Epstein Barr virus.  This diagnosis has more or less fallen by the wayside, in my opinion because traditional Western medicine cannot produce safe and effective anti-viral pharmaceutical drugs (but they can for symptoms of fibromyalgia!).   

   The chronic symptoms associated with Lyme disease can be identical to fibromyalgia. 
In my experience, a high percentage of people who are told Lyme was "ruled out" with blood tests, were misdiagnosed with fibromyaliga.  A big part of the problem is that diagnostic tests for many established medical conditions are far from perfect.  It happens to be the case that the tests for Lyme are particularly poor.  An entire article on this website is devoted to Lyme and fibromyalgia.

  Many people who have been given the diagnosis of fibromyalgia have underlying malfunction of their nervous system, caused by neck problems.  The fibromyalgia diagnosis is merely a label attached to their symptoms, which may have multiple causes, some related to each other, and some not.

   You can be sure to find the opinions regarding fibromyalgia are as varied and intense as the symptoms.  Throughout the articles I’ve written for this website, I will give you both mine, as well as others.

   I have treated people afflicted with symptoms classified as those of fibromyalgia since 1993. 
 The vast majority of these unfortunate souls had various aches and pains.  But they were never given any explanation of their causes.  They had gone to doctor after doctor… having medical test after test… everything came up negative.  They were told “nothing is wrong… it’s all in your head.”

   My experience has been people seeking my treatment because their doctors viewed their so-called “fibromyalgia” as the end point—the ultimate diagnosis, and an essentially untreatable “disease.”  My patients have always been  people who exercised their right to independent thought… they were not willing to accept fibromyalgia as their “final diagnosis,” understanding that it was not a treatable condition. 

   Even today, with drugs such as Lyrica, Cymbalta, and Savellabeing aggressively marketed, mainstream medicine’s message has been clear: fibromyalgia is a mysterious condition of unknown origin… BUT it should be managed by indefinitely swallowing prescription drugs!

  
 Do you think that it is a coincidence that so many people are now being diagnosed with fibromyalgia?

   The pharmaceutical companies' direct advertisements to you, suggest you should ask your doctor about their drugs and fibromyalgia.  The FDA approval of prescription drugs for fibromyalgia symptoms, in my opinion has opened the doors for physicians to jump on the fibromyalgia band wagon—those who until recently, did not even accept fibromyalgia as a distinct illness.  And, I believe as a perhaps a sleazy justification, we’re being told now that the “cause is known” in the form of a “Central Sensitivity Syndrome” – a malfunction in pain processing in the brain and spinal cord.  There’s been much talk about abnormal regulation of brain neurotransmitters such as serotonin, norepinephrine, or dopamine.

  
To me, this is not really an explanation of ANYTHING—certainly not a true underlying cause; it’s further mystery.  The questions of why these abnormalities take place is not being addressed by pharmaceutical-based medicine. 

   I do indeed acknowledge fibromyalgia.  I’ve treated people diagnosed with it throughout my whole career.  That doesn’t mean I accept the popular viewpoints about what it is, and certainly not how people who supposedly have it should be treated medically. People come for my treatments after other physicians have given them the “life sentence” of fibromyalgia—the “invisible disease.”  I treat PEOPLE who suffer from symptoms that are on the “official list” of fibromyalgia.

   Millions of Americans are experiencing ill health that falls into this huge category of fibromyalgia symptoms.  My recommendation is to take a serious look at your overall health. 
My experience has been that there are multiple causes for the symptoms of fibromyalgia that can absolutely be found and treated.   That is what my holistic wellness practice is all about.  

   I make no claims for “miracle cures” or specialized “fibro supplements.”  I don’t accept everybody as a patient, nor do I claim to help everybody I treat.  I have indeed helped the vast majority.  Some have fully recovered, while others have had significant improvement.  

   One might argue that Lyrica, Cymbalta, and Savella are effectively treating fibromyalgia.  I don't see how one could compare drugging a person to mask their symptoms, with comprehensive  natural treatment of multiple underlying causes.  

   It is comparing apples to oranges.  One cannot realistically equate a person whose body has healed itself naturally (or at least improved significantly) with an individual who merely feels better while bound and shackled by the daily need for various drugs. 

   However, let me be crystal clear that I’m NOT against prescription drugs for those with symptoms of fibromyalgia;
I’m against them as a front-line and sole approach.  I see the majority of patients with a history of pain management through a laundry list of prescription drugs.  Many of these people have had little-to-no detailed and comprehensive investigation into potential causes. 

   If you’re interested in a comprehensive, wellness-based approach to recovering from the symptoms of fibromyalgia, it would be my privilege to help you, if I think I can.  

   People do NOT come to me however, to be diagnosed with fibromyalgia… they come to me to get well from the symptoms from which they suffer--to have me detect and treat the causes of their condition... to help them heal naturally. There is a stunning difference in my treatment philosophy from that of the medical mainstream.  I invite you to view the articles, patient testimonials, videos and other information  other information information throughout my website.   



                                                                               Dr. Donald Liebell 

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​Donald K. Liebell, DC, BCAO

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Virginia Beach VA 23452 
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